Tag Archives: Patrick Ness
Post by Mark T. Locker.
The Rest of Us Just Live Here by Patrick Ness.
So many young adult books these days are about reluctant heroes, boys and girls finding themselves battling monsters and unspeakable evil. This book is not about those people. This is about the kids in the background. The “normal” kids. It’s a really interesting twist on this classic trope of YA fiction.
Something weird is happening in this small nameless town somewhere in western Washington. Kids are going missing, strange blue light is bursting into the sky. But this isn’t what Mikey is worried about. He’s a teenager gearing up for the end of his school year. He’s in love with his best friend. His sister has an eating disorder. He has OCD. They really don’t have time for monsters, inter-dimensional portals, or any of that stuff. That stuff is for the Chosen Ones; known in this book as the indie kids. They have names like Satchel and Finn. All we know about the fight against otherworldly evil is explained in the titles of the chapters. For once they are the background characters.
I love this unusual twist on YA fantasy fiction. I’ve read many books about chosen kids, balancing school and relationships with a fight against evil. What about the other kids? The ones who just want to get through finals, go to prom, find love? The Rest of Us Just Live tells their story. And it’s a really good story. It’s all about the angst of absentee parents, of leaving high school and the friends who have kept you going. It’s about love and jealousy and family. The mysterious blue light infecting the people and animals of town certainly doesn’t help. But Finn and Satchel and Finn and Finn will take care of that. Mikey and his friends are too busy cramming for final.
A fun and thoughtful book for teens who enjoy the monsters and zombies but want a little more.
Post by Mark T. Locker.
The Knife of Never Letting Go by Patrick Ness.
The first installment in the Chaos Walking trilogy, The Knife of Never Letting Go is a unique, heartbreaking, brutal and captivating story for teens.
Todd Hewitt is on the run from Prentisstown, the only place he’s ever known. Alone with his talking dog Manchee, he’s been sent out into the swamps with nothing but a book from his mother and a big knife. He’s only a few weeks from becoming a man, the last child to grow into a man in Prentisstown.
This is not a normal place. Everyone who moved here became infected with the Noise. You can hear everyone’s thoughts and everyone can hear yours. You can hear the crocs saying, “Food. Food” as they approach. It’s a sickness that destroyed the women and left the men isolated at the edge of a huge swamp. Or so Todd has always been told. So when the two men who raised him tell him he has to leave, and leave now to save his own life, he has no idea what is going on. And when he learns that the holy man, Aaron, is hunting him, he knows he needs to learn the truth behind Prentisstown. Maybe the only one who can help him is the book from his mother and a mysterious girl he encounters in the swamps. He’s never met a girl before but immediately he notices she has no Noise. Who is she and where did she come from?
Full of twists and turns, lovely and brutal, violent but sweet, The Knife of Never Letting Go is not for the faint of heart but it tells a great story. If you want to read this one in bed, I recommend a few funny comics afterward to ease your dreams.